With five generations of baking tradition behind them, Herbert brothers Tom, a baker, and Henry, a chef who runs the local butcher’s shop, traverse the length and breadth of Britain to bring us the scoop on earthy recipes, exciting fillings, toppings and accompaniments on Fabulous Baker Brother: A Bite of Britain. They get chatting on the show and what keeps them going.
A little on your background.
Tom: Our family business was a bakery and there was also a butchery downstairs, so we had great meat and great bread. My mum used to cook from scratch and we saw how to cook and bake. All our parents’ friends are in the food business, so we grew up around food. We love discovering new things and meeting new people. That’s how we got into this.
Working with a sibling.
Tom: Henry is a chef and a butcher. I’m a baker, an enthusiastic cook and eater. Sometimes, it’s easier for me to imagine a dish, and Henry has to figure out how we’re going to make it.
Henry: But because we’re different, and we have different opinions, we hopefully lead to something greater than the sum of our parts.
Favourite experience on the show.
Tom: Seeing the diversity of Britain. We have amazing produce. Because we’re an island, we’ve got great seafood, fish, and great tradition of animals and livestock, and the foraging too. We’re used to exploring the world and bringing back the best.
Henry: We also have a freedom to experiment—like curry, which is not from here, but still a part of our culture. We would like food to be more about the stories, and the work that goes into producing it. So then, when you’re eating something, it’s not just food, there’s a context, and a story too.
Cooking to you means…
Henry: For me, cooking should be intuitive. Recipes are good, but not to be followed to a tee. Your oven might be different; your ingredients might be difficult. It’s about just giving it a go – it’s not an art; it’s a process, but as long as you want to enjoy it, it will taste good. Maybe by cooking for other people, it can make it more enjoyable. We’re a nation of cooking show watchers, and cookbook owners, and then we buy ready meals, so we’ve got a lot of work to do in our own country.
Tom: The best cooks are the people that love food. Enthusiasm breeds a good cook.
What aspect of the show will the audience most enjoy?
Henry: Food has a great ability to pull people together. In the show, what we’re doing is looking also at the people involved in the making – the food producers. They have their stories, their history and their culture, and we’re bringing them together.
Tom: Through this show, we are aiming to dispel the myth that British food isn’t the best in Europe and show viewers what they can achieve by cooking everything outdoors in fire pits, on BBQs and using camping stoves. These are the aspects that make our show special and we hope people will like it.
Airs every Monday and Tuesday at 9 pm on TLC. Details: hobbshousebakery.co.uk
— Aakanksha Devi